four principal Buddhist pilgrimage sites where most of the
buddhist temples and shrines are located. The most important
of these are located primarily in the Ganges Valley of
In the Himalayan kingdom of Nepal lies Lumbini, the
birthplace of Prince Siddhartha Gautama, who was later
become the Buddha. Queen Maya Devi of the Sakya clan was on
her way to her parental home when she gave birth to the
prince under a tree.
Gaya is where Siddhartha Gautama became the Buddha as he sat
in meditation on the diamond seat under the Bodhi (Ficus
It was in the Deer Park at Sarnath that the Buddha gave his
first significant sermons on the Middle Way, the Four Noble
Truths and the Eightfold Path to his five fellow seekers who
became the first monks of the order.
The Buddha died in a Saal forest in Kushinagar and attained
mahaparinirvana at the age of 80.